Government funded housing assistance is designed to provide affordable housing to low-income families, people with disabilities, and the elderly. Various factors determine eligibility, but generally families that have to spend upwards of 50% of their income on housing costs are given preference.
Many programs exist to provide low-income or at-risk families with affordable housing, including the USDA Home Loan Program, the Housing Choice Voucher Program, and the Housing Assistance Council. Most programs are federally run by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and these schemes base eligibility on family size, median annual income, age, and immigration status. While the programs are federally funded, they are operated at the state level and as such eligibility requirements vary. Those making less than 80% of the median local income are considered 'lower income', while those making less than 50% are considered 'very low income' and are given first priority status.
Along with low-income families, veterans, severely disabled individuals, and the elderly can receive housing assistance. Those who are reasonably able to work must be employed and must be able to provide recent tax returns or other evidence of a sound financial history. Applicants must have no major criminal history and no record of habitual eviction. Assistance may also be provided for families that have been displaced by natural disasters.